Game Changers

Three charitable organizations spawned from L.A.’s athletic community that are working to improve lives

These three charitable organizations spawned from L.A.’s athletic community are working to improve lives

Kershaw’s Challenge

Since Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, launched this organization to help at-risk children in 2011, its efforts have gone global. Its annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose fundraiser at Dodger Stadium aids nonprofits like the L.A.-based Dream Center, which partnered with Kershaw’s Challenge this summer to distribute 2,500 backpacks, plus school supplies, and offer free haircuts and dental/medical screenings to underserved families.


The foundation was created from the surplus (yes, surplus!) money from the ’84 Summer Olympics. Since its inception, LA84 has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for youth sports programs across Southern California. Its board of directors includes 1960 decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson and Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten, and it’s likely LA84 will help a few Angelenos make it to the next L.A.-based Olympic Games in 2028.

Skyhook Foundation

Actor, best-selling author, and all-time leading NBA scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar established this nonprofit to encourage kids to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The foundation partners with LAUSD to take fourth- and fifth-graders, many of whom are underprivileged, to Camp Skyhook in the Angeles National Forest each year for five days, exposing them to STEM subject matter. Of course, there’s plenty of hiking and s’mores involved, too.

This article is a part of Give Los Angeles 2017: A Charitable Registry. Click here for more